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Can You Bring Your Dog to a Restaurant?

Did you know that you can bring your dog out to eat with you?  Not every restaurant allows dogs, but a growing number of eateries do, generally those with outdoor seating areas.  There are numerous restaurants in Canada that now allow dog owners to bring their pets with them, and this is becoming more popular every day.  Restaurants that allow this do so as a courtesy to pet owners, and will only allow you to bring your dog if your pet is well behaved.  This means not every dog should be taken to a restaurant.  You should only bring your dog if you know you can keep him under control.  Here are some tips for bringing your dog out to eat with you:

·    Take your dog out for a walk before you bring him to a restaurant.  A run around the dog park is a great idea.  This helps to burn excess energy and also ensures that your pooch does not need a bathroom break during the meal. 

·    Make sure that your dog is on a leash.  Make sure that you do not use an extension leash at a restaurant, since you do not want your dog to pull away from your area.  Use a standard leash.  We have many dog leashes for sale which are perfect for restaurant-going dogs as well as everyday use.  Do not permit your dog to wander.  You do not want him to bother other patrons, get in the way of the waiters, or get up on top of the table.  Your dog should not be allowed to eat off your plate or sit in your lap either, even if she is small.

·    Only bring quiet dogs to restaurants.  Patrons do not want to hear dogs barking; if your dog is loud, you may be asked to leave. 

·    It is also a good idea to ask for a table which is in a corner or on the edge, and not in the center of the dining area.  This will bring fewer people into contact with your dog and will reduce the likelihood that your dog will get in the way.  Only bring your dog with you if you can get her to stay under the table or very close. 

·    Make sure you bring your dog’s water bowl along.  Glass dishware is not safe for canines.

·    Make sure your dog is comfortable.  If it is still a cool day, even if you are comfortable in the patio area, your dog may not be.  A dog sweater or jacket can help to keep your dog cozy.  On a hot summer day, remember that the ground may be uncomfortable.  Dog booties for pavement may help, as well as a shaded spot under the table.  A comfortable dog is a well-behaved dog.

·    Do not express irritation if you see other customers requesting a table away from yours.  Remember, your dog is allowed to sit with you as a courtesy, but the majority of restaurant-goers are not there with their pets.  The restaurant will accommodate these customers first.  If your own pet causes a disturbance, you may be asked to leave.  Do so without a fuss.  Also do not expect waiters and other members of the restaurant staff to be experts in dealing with your dog.  Not all of them are going to be pet owners, and may not know what to do if your dog is out of control.  You are responsible for your dog.

Eating outside with your dog at restaurants with patio seating can be a lot of fun during the warm spring and summer months, and can be a great way to socialize with fellow pet owners like friends from the dog park.  Follow all the rules, and take your pet for a walk first to burn off excess energy, and you will be welcomed back time and again.



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